Babylon 5: S05E12: The Ragged Edge
The episode opens with Delenn and Sheridan preparing for an important counsel meeting. Sheridan is rushing to complete a set of papers for presentation at the meeting and is only partly listening to Delenn. She recognises this and toys with him, saying that she is about to declare war on Earth. Sheridan says, sure, gimme the papers and I’ll sign them. After she leaves for the meeting her joke registers.
When Sheridan finally makes it to the council chambers, he finds that the room is empty except for Delenn. The council is boycotting all future council meetings until the Security Council can guarantee the safety of their shipping lines. Sheridan mildly miffed at getting all the blame for the troubles; he is annoyed that the other Alliance members are not more supportive. Sheridan decides that the only way to get the other member races to help out is to find witness to the attacks.
Next we see a Drazi ship under attack by the secretive enemy. The pilot of the ship manages to escape in a life pod before the ship is destroyed.
As G’Kar and Londo arrive back at Babylon 5, they notice an unusually large number of Narns following and bowing whenever G’Kar faces them. This amuses Londo who decides to chastise G’Kar, ‘Go away for a month and they bow. Go away for six months, they’ll tear the place apart when you come back. Perhaps you should go away and never come back again. Then your popularity will be so overwhelming, it would blacken the stars….. I have always said this about you. Nothing so improves your company like the lack of it. The less they see you, more they like you. No, wait, perhaps you can make some money from this. Ten credits for you not to be there for an hour. 100 credits for you not to be there for the day. And for you not to be there for the rest of your life…well, they could never afford it.
Next we see Garibaldi has passed out in his quarters. Zack wakes him up via a telemessage on the BabCom unit and points out that he has missed an appointment. Slightly concerned with Garibaldi’s lapse in timekeeping, Zack tells him of a meeting in Sheridan’s office in 30 minutes
When Garibaldi gets there, he sees that Delenn and Sheridan, Zack and Franklin are discussing the transport ship that was attacked and the pilot that escaped. They believe that the survivor managed to make it to the Drazi homeworld, but that the Drazi government was probably using the ship to smuggle illicit goods banned by the Alliance. They could expect no help from the Drazi government. Garibaldi is dispatched to find the survivor and bring him back to Babylon 5 to testify to the Counsel.
G’Kar is disturbed to find yet more Narns bowing at him. He does however notice an old sparing partner, T’Lon waiting to see him. G’Kar enters his quarters with him and almost immediately notices that his memoir’s have been stolen. G’Kar is most upset. T’Lon tries to quiet his concerns by explaining that the book was borrowed and, because it was recognised that this was a major piece of work, more and more people wanted more and more copies. T’Lon indicated rather embarrassingly, that there were now maybe half a million copies of his book in circulation and that G’Kar was now a sort of demi-god. G’Kar is more than surprised, he is mortified!
Garibaldi is steering clear of Franklin. Franklin helped him through his alcoholism and I suppose that Garibaldi does not want him to know that he is back on the bottle. Franklin is worried that their friendship is waning and confronts Garibaldi. He tries to reassure Franklin that things are ok, but you get the distinct impression that they are not. As Garibaldi boards a Drazi transport, Franklin tells him that he is available if he ever needs to talk.
In the Zocolo, Londo continues to wind up G’Kar about his religious following. In the superb review of this episode on Becky’s Spoiler Junkies Page, the writer, Becky Murphy is reminded of the relationship between Jack Lemon and Walter Matthau in “Grumpy Old Men.” An apt reference don’t you think? Londo is slightly disappointed to find that the only mention of him in the book is that of a ‘pridefull wind catcher’. He prefers to ‘wait for the movie’.
The old pals catch up on news and when Tafiq offers Garibaldi a drink, Garibaldi accepts after a momentary refusal. He asks about the pilot who has gone into hiding. Tafiq explains that the pilot is desperate to get off the planet. His employers are not happy about him loosing the ship and its illicit cargo. Garibaldi asks when he can see the pilot, the geezer is so desperate to get away, maybe his job will be easier. Tafiq tells him that he will arrange for the transport back to Babylon 5, and then they will meet the pilot in the park under cover of nightfall following a precision light signal to Garibaldi’s balcony. The two friends drink themselves into a stupor. Garibaldi has passed out, but Tafiq leaves the apartment and as he wobbles his way down the corridor he is attacked, Garibaldi does not hear the noise.
Later however, he wakes up and finds Tafiq gone. He notices a signal from his balcony and assumes that it is that of the pilot. Still muddle headed, Garibaldi rushes out of the apartment and almost trips over his dying pal Tafiq and a Drazi (presumably the killer – all Drazi look the same to me) standing over the body.
The two engage in fisticuffs and Garibaldi manages to throw the Drazi off his balcony. At this point, a Drazi police ship arrives and begins shining a light into the apartment. He hides in the corridor and notices that Tafiq is not yet dead. Tafiq tells Garibaldi that it is too late to save him and that he should get to the pilot before the others do. The Drazi policeman did not fall to his death after all. He must have managed to cling onto the balcony because we see him climb over and give chase to Garibaldi. Either that or he is the Drazi equivalent of Spiderman!
Garibaldi gets to the rendezvous point too late. The pilot has been killed and the attackers are still close at hand. They are hooded and cloaked and looking very ominous indeed. Now at this point I’d have run a mile, but Garibaldi has fewer brain cells than I and decides to stop and have a punch up. Despite his obvious prowess in this field the ominous figures give him a severe thrashing then run off when they hear the Drazi police approaching. This clearly shows that the ominous thugs are NOT Drazi, or at least, not Drazi police. Garibaldi manages to crawl over to the pilot to check his pulse and upon finding that the pilot has indeed shuffled up that mortal coil, makes off before the police get there.
In Sheridan’s office, Delenn receives an urgent message from Garibaldi. A battered, bruised and bleeding Baldi asks her to get him out of there as fast as she can. He asks for, and receives a Whitestar.
G’Kar is indicating his displeasure about being one of the exhaled to T’Lon? T’Lon tells him that for 100 years the Narns have taught themselves one thing, how to hate and how to fight. His book is about unlearning hatred and unlearning fear. The Narns need him now more than ever. G’Kar, reluctantly to this opens his door and invites his followers inside so that he can discuss him views with them.
When Garibaldi gets back to Babylon 5 he discusses the mission to Drazi with Sheridan, G’Kar and Delenn. He mentions that during the fight with the pilot’s killers he pulled a small, round piece of metal off of their clothing but he never saw who they were or even what race they belonged to. They try to reason who may have been behind the killings. Garibaldi doesn’t think they were Drazi for one, it hurt a lot more to hit a Drazi and they fled when the Drazi police showed up. They all look at each other and conclude that there must have been a leak in the Alliance!
A little later, Londo joins the group and when he notices the small piece of metal in Garibaldi’s hand he asks to examine it further, pointing out as he does so, that it is a button from the uniform of a Centauri officer. ‘Where did you get it,’ he asks. A quick thinking Garibaldi mentions that he picked it up from someone in the Zocalo thinking it might be valuable. Londo, satisfied with the explanation asks what he has missed. Sheridan tells him that he hasn’t missed much and they move on to the next part of the agenda.
After the meeting when Londo has gone, Sheridan, Delenn, Garibaldi and G’Kar meet secretly. They are certain that despite not being able to trust the Centauri, Londo would not be directly involved with the attacks. They conclude that Londo is however, responsible for the leak especially when considering his daily report to Centauri Prime. G’Kar tells them about the attempted assassination of Londo life and the mysterious creature that saved him. G’Kar feels sure that if the creatures behind the attacks feel threatened, they will kill Londo. It would be better to tell Londo only what he needs to know.
Much later, when G’Kar has returned to his quarters. He is sharing his wisdom with a few of his followers. He tells them that evolution has taught them to fight those that are different so they could secure food, land and mates. But now they have reached a point where the nobility of intellect asserts itself and says no. They need not be afraid of those who are different. They should embrace that difference and learn from if. An excited follower who has his metaphorical head up his metaphorical bum interrupts, he refers top G’Kar as “most holy”. I though that G’Kar would have punched the geezers, but instead he simply points out that there is no “most holy”, only G’Kar. The student understands what G’Kar is telling them, but in the Book of G’Kar it states that the Centauri are not to be trusted.
This winds G’Kar up. It’s as if his followers are not following what he is saying. G’Kar decided to demonstrate. He asks the anally retentive follower to find the passage in the book and place his face in it. The Narn looks at G’Kar quizzically, he hesitates, but after quiet reassurance from G’Kar, he does as he is asked. A quietly delighted G’Kar, slams the book shut and the Narn winces with pain. You just knew that G’Kar would do that. His Narn followers clearly have much to learn.
Franklin calls on Sheridan to resign from Babylon 5. A shocked and disappointed Sheridan asks why. Franklin tells him that he will be the new head of Xenobiological Research at Earthdome. It is a very good opportunity for him to carry out his research and that there are better resources on Earth for him to continue his work for the Alliance.
Sheridan isn’t happy, he considers Franklin a friend as well as an important member of the team who has saved their lives more times than he would like to remember. Sheridan reluctantly congratulates Franklin on his promotion and asks if he should tell Delenn. Franklin says he will do that and that he will also tell him pal Garibaldi, in fact he is already putting a call through to him right now.
In Garibaldi’s quarters we see the BabCom unit signalling a message, but Garibaldi has passed out. As he sleeps it off we see another empty bottle sitting on his bedside table.
And on that downer another superb episode ends.
I’d rate this a drunken 30,549 out of 10. What did you think?
The “The Ragged Edge” episode review is © 1999 – 2001 Tony Fawl
and not for reproduction without the authors express permission
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